Edmontonians have the chance to give some cheer this holiday season by donating gifts to charitable organizations serving children and vulnerable people.
The Mustard Seed in Edmonton is looking for new, unwrapped toy and gift donations for its seventh annual Family Gift Centre running Dec. 6 and 7, the non-profit organization said in a Thursday news release.
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The program allows those experiencing homelessness or living in poverty to purchase toys at a cost of $2 for their young ones, said Katie Kitschke, the organization’s director of housing.
“Our goal with the Family Gift Centre is to provide caregivers with an opportunity to choose gifts for their own children or those that they care for,” Kitschke said in the news release. “We are striving to create an environment where those caregivers can feel a sense of pride in being able to choose items specifically for the children in their lives and bring the joy back into Christmas.”
The Mustard Seed will be accepting toy and gift donations at the back of its central Edmonton community support centre (10568 114 St.) on weekdays from 8: 30 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Dec. 5.
Toys for Tickets returns
Alberta’s health authority is also getting in the spirit by once again accepting toys as payment for parking tickets this holiday season.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) revived its Toys for Tickets campaign after pausing the program for the past two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, AHS said in a Thursday news release.
Instead of coughing up cash for a fine, people who’ve received an AHS parking ticket between Nov. 14 and Dec. 12 can offer up a new, unwrapped toy in its original packaging for recipients ranging from newborns to 17 year olds, the health authority said, adding that eligible toys must be worth at least $25.
The program will accept toys until Dec. 16 at any AHS parking office, and the toys will be donated to children foundations and charity organizations throughout the province, AHS said.
For those participating in the program, AHS recommends books, art supplies, science kits, electronics, headphones, Lego sets, portable DVD players, rattles, baby toys, journals, activity books, crayons, colouring books, and gift cards for grocery stores and restaurants as acceptable gifts.